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Pub bombing campaigners go to European Parliament

The long fight for justice for victims of the Birmingham Pub bombings continues and campaigners fighting for the case to be reopened were in Brussels today meeting members of the European Parliament.

Among them Julie Hambleton, who lost her 18-year-old sister Maxine in the attacks which killed 21 people in 1974. More than 40 years on the crime remains unsolved. Our political correspondent Alison Mackenzie reports

Pub bombing campaigners to stand at Euro Parliament

21 people died when two bombs went off in Birmingham in 1974 Credit: ITV News Central

The bereaved families of the victims of the Birmingham pub bombings will stand in front of European Parliament today as part of their campaign to have a fresh inquest into their deaths.

Earlier this month, campaigners from Justice 4 the 21 met with the Home Secretary, Theresa May to press for the release of classified files on the bombings, which were secured under a 75-year embargo in 1993.


Pub bombings: MP calls on PM to renew justice efforts

A Labour MP has called on the Prime Minister to renew efforts to bring to justice those responsible for the 1974 Birmingham pub bombings which killed 21 people.

Khalid Mahmood, Labour MP for Birmingham Perry Bar Credit: ITV News Central

Khalid Mahmood (Birmingham, Perry Barr) asked what action David Cameron intended to take on the 40th anniversary of the attacks.

Mr Mahmood told the Commons he attended a service at the weekend with families of those who lost loved ones, adding: "After a 40-year-long wait there is still no action to bring to justice the perpetrators."

Mr Cameron replied: "First of all, our sympathies and condolences should still go to those people who lost their relatives 40 years ago.<

"When you lose a relative that stays with you. The grief and the pain stays with you forever.

"I think it is important that we continue to work to try and make sure that we address all the issues that happened in the past and find those that are responsible and try to help people come to terms with what has happened.

"That needs to happen in Northern Ireland as well as on the mainland."

Two explosions in two packed bars, just a few minutes apart, killed 21 people and injured nearly 200 more Credit: PA

Twenty-one people lost their lives in the bombings on November 21, which also left more than 180 injured. The two blasts - at the Mulberry Bush and Tavern in the Town pubs - happened when the bars were packed with teenage drinkers.

Police had tried to evacuate the premises after the Birmingham Post newspaper received a telephone warning the attacks were imminent, but failed to do so in time.

The so-called Birmingham Six were found guilty in 1975, but released after 16 years in prison when their convictions were overturned in 1991. The real perpetrators have never been prosecuted.

READ: Birmingham remembers pub bombings 40 years on


  1. Chris Halpin

Video report: the night Birmingham changed forever

Over the next hour on this night 40 years ago, lives would be wrecked & families ripped apart, after bombs were planted by the IRA in two pubs in Birmingham city centre.

A warning call would be made to the Birmingham Mail at 8.11pm, saying bombs would go off under the Rotunda and on New Street.

At 8.17pm a device exploded at the Mulberry Bush. Ten minutes later, a second blast destroyed basement bar The Tavern in the Town.

A total of 21 people would lose their lives in the terrorist attacks. In half an hour's time 182 more would be maimed and injured.

One of the survivors on this night in 1974 was Les Robinson. Watch his incredible story above.

Bomb survivor lost friends in compensation 'jealousy'

Les Robinson was 22 when a bomb devastated the Tavern in the Town pub in Birmingham city centre on this night exactly 40 years ago.

He was meeting around 15 to 18 friends in the pub that night. Many hadn't arrived when the bomb exploded, but seven of his friends were injured.

None of his friends lost their lives, but Les says friendships did fall apart in the months after the terrorist attacks, but for reasons you'd never expect, as he explained to ITV News Central reporter Chris Halpin.

How anti-Irish hatred divided Birmingham after bombs

Mainland Britain lived in the shadow of terrorism during the 1970s, with bombings commonplace, but the Birmingham bombs were to be the deadliest of the decade.

Attitudes towards the city's Irish community during the Northern Ireland Troubles was tense before that night. Now hostility became hatred.

Bomb survivor Les Robinson, who was stood just ten feet away from the blast in the Tavern in the Town when a device exploded at 8.27pm on this night in 1974.

Here Les explains how the blast divided his family, with his Irish uncle too ashamed to visit him after he was injured.

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